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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Jehoi´achin (God-appointed), by contraction Jeconiah and Coniah, nineteenth king of Judah, and son of Jehoiakim. When his father was slain, B.C. 599, the king of Babylon allowed him, as the rightful heir, to succeed. He was then eighteen years of age, according to ; but only eight according to . Many attempts have been made to reconcile these dates, the most usual solution being that he had reigned ten years in conjunction with his father, so that he was eight when he began his joint reign, but eighteen when he began to reign alone. There are, however, difficulties in this view, which, perhaps, leave it the safest course to conclude that 'eight' in , is a corruption of the text, such as might easily occur from the relation of the numbers eight and eighteen.

Jehoiachin followed the evil courses which had already brought so much disaster upon the royal house of David, and upon the people under its sway. He seems to have very speedily indicated a political bias adverse to the interests of the Chaldean empire; for in three months after his accession we find the generals of Nebuchadnezzar again laying siege to Jerusalem, according to the predictions of Jeremiah (; ). Convinced of the futility of resistance, Jehoiachin went out and surrendered as soon as Nebuchadnezzar arrived in person before the city. He was sent away as a captive to Babylon, with his mother, his generals, and his troops, together with the artificers and other inhabitants of Jerusalem, to the number of ten thousand. Thus ended an unhappy reign of three months and ten days. If the Chaldean king had then put an end to the show of a monarchy, and annexed the country to his own dominions, the event would probably have been less unhappy for the nation. But still adhering to his former policy, he placed on the throne Mattaniah, the only surviving son of Josiah, whose name he changed to Zedekiah (; ; ; ).

Jehoiachin remained in prison at Babylon during the lifetime of Nebuchadnezzar: but when that prince died, his son, Evil-merodach, not only released him, but gave him an honorable seat at his own table, with precedence over all the other dethroned kings who were kept at Babylon, and an allowance for the support of his rank (; ). To what he owed this favor we are not told; but the Jewish commentators allege that Evil-merodach had himself been put into prison by his father during the last year of his reign, and had there contracted an intimate friendship with the deposed king of Judah.

The name of Jehoiachin reappears to fix the epoch of several of the prophecies of Ezekiel (), and of the deportation which terminated his reign (). In the genealogy of Christ () he is named as the 'son of Josias' his uncle.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Jehoiachin'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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